Podcast cover: Poetry Unbound

Poetry Unbound

Poetry Unbound is a podcast that explores the power and meaning of poetry. Produced by On Being Studios, each episode of Poetry Unbound features a single poem read aloud by host and poet Pádraig Ó Tuama. With his gentle Irish lilt, Ó Tuama invites listeners to slow down, take a deep breath, and let the words of the poem wash over them.

As the poem is read, Ó Tuama provides context and insights, sharing his own thoughts and interpretations of the work. He explores the layers of meaning in the poem, the imagery and metaphors, and the emotions that it evokes. He also draws on his own experiences and stories, connecting the poem to the wider world and to our shared human experience.

Poetry Unbound features a diverse range of poets and poems, from contemporary voices to classic works. Some episodes focus on a single poem, while others explore a theme or idea through a series of poems. The podcast is a rich and thought-provoking journey through the world of poetry, inviting listeners to discover new perspectives and connect with the beauty and power of language.

In this concluding episode of "Poems as Teachers," our special miniseries on conflict and the human condition, host Pádraig Ó Tuama says the poems discussed in this offering are a different kind of teacher: “not as teachers that give us rules to follow — more so teachers that share something of their own intuition.” And for a final reflection, he offers Kai Cheng Thom’s “trauma is not sacred,” which speaks directly, fiercely, and lovingly to the pain, scars, and violence that we humans carry and inflict upon one another.

Kai Cheng Thom is a writer, performance artist, and community healer. Kai Cheng is the author of the novel Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl's Confabulous Memoir; the essay collection I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl's Notes at the End of the World (an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book); the poetry collection a place called No Homeland (an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book); and the children's books From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea (illustrated by Kai Yun Ching and Wai-Yant Li) and For Laika, the Dog Who Learned the Names of the Stars (illustrated by Kai Yun Ching). She won the Writers' Trust of Canada's Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers in 2017.

Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.

This is the final episode of "Poems as Teachers," a special seven-part miniseries on conflict and the human condition.

We’re pleased to offer Kai’s poem, and invite you to read Pádraig’s weekly Poetry Unbound Substack, read the Poetry Unbound book, or listen back to all our episodes.

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